Social Media Access at Work

Social media has become an everyday component of our lives. We post pictures of our families, friends, activities. We like pages that agree with our views and products we use. We post our random thoughts and feelings. We also post intimate musings about our relationships, ourselves, and others. We forward that cute article/video/gif, however we also forward the articles, videos that ignite our passion for justice, religion, politics and just our own personal views.

Suffice it to say we tend to overshare and say things we would never dream of saying in public, let alone to all of our friends and family in person. Heaven forbid Grandma reads your purity score on Facebook and likes it. That brings me to my topic. Is it okay to access Social Media from your work PC?

In this day and age where employers are looking for ways to entice younger folks and ensure they are happy at their jobs, we have evolved to allowing services to be used in our everyday work environment, that were shunned not so long ago. It has also created the boom of Enterprise Social among the requests.

However, we as people are very judgmental and one picture, word, video, comment can sour even the best of a work relationship. Especially if you run out and ‘friend’ all of your co-workers when you start a new job. They find out quickly who you are when you are not at the office and anything else you wouldn’t necessarily share in work environment.

So now layer that on with immediate access at work. I have seen a far share of policies drafted and access’ allowed that would have been shut down the minute it came out of someone’s mouth, over the last couple of years. Yet the bigger question is why? Does your employee(you) not have a personal cell phone? If they(you) have a company phone do you not allow them to access these sites/apps on their work devices?

I know the answer and the answer is, unless of course you work in the dark recesses of a government building, no it’s not blocked. So why allow it on your work pc?

I believe that most people don’t ever take into account that your company has the option to monitor and track your activity when you are using company resources. You are also asked to adhere to a code of conduct when using said resources. Meaning hate speech, vulgarity, drug/alcohol use etc is a no-no. They also have the ability to check for credit card information, social security, and any other PII they deem as potentially harmful. This means that every time you shop for new shoes, Amazon, Ebay, etc. the company knows and you agreed to let them know.

So now what do you do?
1) Stop friending current co-workers – Do you really need your boss hearing about your weekend, your relationship troubles, or that you love house music and marijuana.
2) Stop using company resources and use your own device to shop, share, Instagram, etc. which includes the free WiFi the company offers you to use for company business apps.
3) Stop oversharing – We don’t care that the food you had was great, or that you were so wasted last night and post the pictures to prove it
4) If you can’t say something nice to a persons/people then don’t say it on Social Media – Lobbing a salvo in Facebook against someone who wronged you in real or virtual is what our parents would say is ‘airing your dirty laundry to the world’

What this all boils down to is the company should not have to be your babysitter and tell you what is right, wrong etc. However if you ask for it/demand it (like using these pages from work) then don’t be shocked and surprised when the company acts on your moral/immoral actions or asks you direct questions about something you did on a business trip that was recorded on Facebook.

Life doesn’t come with out consequences.

If you would like examples, simply Google: fired because of Facebook.

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When obsession poisons your point of view

I was recently reminded of a conversation that happened when I moved from end user support to an architect. That conversation happened very candidly between myself and my husband. Could I let it go and make the transition from day to day support to potential leader of people and little to no interaction with the users?

After having a thought provoking conversation over Valentine’s dinner and my struggles with my current project. I realized that I am a social creature. I love the interaction of people. I am not an engineer that can sit by myself in a room. I crave the interaction. I need it.

So I have started my day filled with questions. Is this the job I want to do? Am I able to temper my passion for mobility to further the future of my company constructively?  Can I make the transition? Can I work effectively with a team of people just like me and not feel like a brat child trying to get my way all the time.

As I struggle with myself I am finding more questions than answers. How can I be so self centered and egotistical as to not take a minute to think of those around me and the hell Im putting them through as I struggle with my identity. What does this say about any potential that I have for moving up in the world. I had an issue with a leader who couldn’t let go of the engineering tasks. I kept asking the question why he even hired me if he kept on insisting on doing it his way. It really got to me. Now I realize that Im like him in some ways.

They say with great leadership comes great responsibility. Well right now I am acting exactly like a displaced admin support person that I claim to have grown out of. Not like the architect that I am.

So my peers, I am working through this. If you have anything that has worked for you throw it out here.

Change is inevitable its what we do when presented with it that shapes our future.

What happens next.. The End

So I write this post on the last day of the year to reflect and to pass along a bit of wisdom and food for thought.

Just this weekend I found myself reflecting back on the end. Not the end of a book, the end of a movie, nor the end of this blog. THE END. The big one. The one that changes everyone’s lives who knows you and I came away from that reflection with some real concerns.

You know everyone wants to preach to you how to handle The End, but no one has taken into consideration the age in which we live. The estate planning, doesn’t include subtle things like passwords for online accounts, or what accounts the person has. It also doesn’t address the simplest of items like the admin password to a computer.

I came in contact with a very nice lady whose husband had passed recently. It was a sudden passing and they are only in their late 50’s early 60’s at best. However, he was the end all be all for tech support in the house. He managed their business’s MAC’s and kept them up to date, etc. He passed with that knowledge, but left no record for her. So why is this important you might ask? Well you see most computers require the administrator password to do the simplest of tasks. Like I don’t know.. Load a print driver, or change the password.

So you see my friend that leads me here. What do you do to protect your accounts from hackers etc., but still leave enough information behind to assist your loved ones? I know that some people get weird when they are asked to share passwords with loved ones, which can beg a whole separate set of questions, but we are not here to judge.. So what can be done?

Well we can file the master password to our stuff with our living will,. Or maybe the password to some file that is on a site like box or something. However this also assumes your family knows how to use such things..

Just something to ponder though as we get further away from brick and mortar transactions and into the world of electric impulses.

I guess what I’m saying is have a game plan. Talk with your loved ones, especially your elder loved ones. I know, I know. NO one wants to talk about The End, but it has become a necessity.

The last thing the surviving family members want to worry about is what else do they need to handle after you’re gone. Think of the things we do every day or sign up for. Reoccurring payments, offers, credit cards, word press accounts. If the family doesn’t know about all of these things then what? The spouses account is drained because you didn’t stop your Xbox live subscription?! Or the Podcast downloads subscription from Apple. The list goes on and on.

Take a moment in the New Year to reflect on all of the accounts, and stuff you have signed up for. Is it documented? Do you have them bookmarked in your account on the computer? Do you have a password keeper on your computer or your mobile phone? Who has access?

A business would simply reset your password to allow access from any needed person. You don’t have that option.

So in parting how are you preparing for The End?